413-781-2820 413-781-2820
  • Seunghee Cha
    Counsel

Seunghee Cha is a member of the firm’s Trusts and Estates Department. In her comprehensive estate planning practice Seunghee assists individuals and families from all walks of life in areas including general estate planning; special-needs planning for individuals living with intellectual, developmental, and age-related disabilities; guardianship, conservatorship and alternatives; estate settlement; and trust administration.

Her special-needs planning services include advising on publicly-funded benefits, establishing and funding special-needs trusts, advising on the selection of trustees and trust-administration services, and representing trustees, trust advisors and beneficiaries. Seunghee also advises family-law attorneys regarding options for alimony, child support, and division of assets involving spouses and children with disabilities and advises personal-injury attorneys in determining the best settlement options for plaintiffs with mental incapacity or other disabilities, including evaluation of eligibility for and preservation of public benefits.

Seunghee serves on the board of directors of the Center for Human Development and The Loomis Communities. She is a past board member of The United Arc and NAMI Western Massachusetts, Inc. Seunghee is a frequent speaker on special needs planning, estate planning, and related issues.


Related Professional Experience

Prior to joining Bulkley Richardson, Seunghee operated a solo practice for three years. She also previously worked in progressive philanthropy and public-interest law.

Seunghee is certified and trained in mediation and collaborative law, accredited by the Veterans Affairs in veterans’ benefits, and trained as a parent consultant from the Federation for Children with Special Needs.


Upcoming Speaking Engagement
Planning with the ABLE Account and special needs trusts for the Family Empowerment organization (September 12, 2017).

Past Speaking Engagements
Co-Presenting with Community Foundation’s Vice President for Philanthropic Services Ellen Leuchs on ways you can give through your estate plan, Jones Library in Amherst (April 29, 2017).

Special Needs Trusts for the Greenfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), Greenfield YMCA (March 9, 2017).


Publications
Contributing author, Bulkley Richardson’s Trusts & Estates Quarterly, Fall 2017

Contributing author, Bulkley Richardson Trusts & Estates Quarterly, Summer 2017.

Contributing author, Bulkley Richardson’s Trusts & Estates Quarterly, Winter 2017.

Author: “To Trust or Not to Trust,” The Messenger, Newsletter of NAMI-WM (Winter 2014).

Co-Author: “Past Bias Still Mars Gay Veterans’ Service Records,” Guest Column, The Daily Hampshire Gazette (June 18, 2014).

Author: “How to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance,” The Recorder Good Life Column (June 2014).

Author: “LGBT Elders and Equality,” The Recorder Good Life Column (December 2013).


Representative Experience

Counsel individuals and couples in comprehensive estate planning, including selection of guardians for minor children and retirement and disability planning.

Establish special-needs trusts for individuals with disabilities and guide family members regarding trust funding.

Advise family members of individuals with intellectual disability, mental illness, or dementia about guardianship, conservatorship, and less-restrictive alternatives.

Represent fiduciaries in all aspects of estate administration.


Client Stories

A Sibling with Special Needs – Amanda and Helen lost their mother to a tragic accident. Grief stricken, they faced the daunting responsibility of settling their mother’s estate and were surprised to learn that their mother had set up a special-needs trust for their brother, George, and appointed them as trustees.

Planning for Young Children – Cathy and Jim finally wanted to address an issue they had been meaning to tackle but kept postponing in their busy lives raising three active children. The illness of Jim’s sister had prompted the call to our office. “We want to make sure our children will be okay should anything happen to us.”